Do you know this?
The marathon distance only became 26.2 miles during the 1908 London Olympics. Queen Alexandra requested that the distance was adjusted so the royal household could see the race from Windsor Castle. Prior to this – from 1896 to 1908 marathons of approximately 25 miles were held.
Japanese runner, Shizo Kanakuri holds the world record for the slowest marathon (54 years, 8 months and 6 days, 5 hours and 32 minutes). After dropping out of the 1912 Stockholm Olympics (but not reporting this), he was invited back to finish the race some 50 years later.
In the 1908 Olympics Italian runner, Dorando Pietri finished first in the marathon but was subsequently disqualified because the umpires had helped him up as he had fallen five times in the last few kilometres.
The Everest marathon is the highest marathon in the world. The start line is at Gorak Shep 5184m (17,000 feet), close to Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
Two confectionary bars have a marathon connection. Runners of a certain age will remember the “Marathon” bar, sadly renamed “Snickers” in 1990 as part of a global rebranding exercise. Mars sponsored the London marathon between ’84 and ’88. They provided free Mars bars in the finish area – possibly not the perfect recovery food!
The Man versus Horse Marathon takes place every year in Llanwrtyd, Wales. A horse won for the first 24 years until elite marathoner, Huw Lob, became the first human victor.